Latest News public figures interview series

The complaining habits of public figures – Matt Allwright

A series of interviews by The Complaining Cow

In my series of interviews with people in the consumer world, today is the turn of Matt Allwright.

1) Generally, do you complain to a company regarding a faulty item?

Yes, but always from the point of view that we both have something to gain. I just complained about excess packaging. Turns out they weren’t using plastic but compostible starch wotsits. You live, you learn. If you don’t complain, you don’t.

2) How much does the likely redress have to be before you will complain and why?

I’m rarely after money. I’m usually looking for some sense of balance in the transaction. It just has to make sense.

3) How well do you know your legal rights (would be the Consumer Rights Act, different sectors regulations etc. in the UK)

Not bad, but I’m probably a bit out of date in a couple of areas. The legislation changes quite regularly. I had the 2008 (amended 2014) Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations down pat. Great bit of law, that.

4) If you receive service over and above good do you give feedback? If so how?

Always. It breaks down the barrier between customer and provider and demonstrates you understand the difficulty and importance of dealing well with clients. Verbally, written, direct to bosses. It makes a massive difference because it’s relatively rare.

5) If you receive poor service how many people do you tell?

I tell my friends. I tend not to use social media because it bends everyone out of shape on the few occasions I have done it. Everyone gets a bit strange and jittery and I feel like I’ve abused my position a bit.

6) If you receive good services how many people do you tell?

Typically, friends and family.

7) What if anything stops you from complaining?

The possibility of a positive outcome.

8) What do you think of using social media to complain?

It has to be structured and not personal.

9) Is customer service/being able to gain redress a factor when deciding where to purchase an item?

Yes. If I’ve had a bad experience I won’t go back.

10) Do you ever contact a CEO of a company? If so at what point in the complaint process?

Again, only if it’s relevant otherwise everyone gets a bit unnecessary. If I can help a company shape up, then it’s worth going to the top to make it happen. I’m not going to do it just to make my life easier. I’m in a slightly different position to most because of my role in the public eye. That’s not there to be used for my own benefit.

11) If you have ever used an ADR scheme (ombudsman/mediation/arbitrator) or gone to the Small Claims Court tell us about it

No. Never had to.

Read about the interviewing habits of other public figures in the series of interviews by The Complaining Cow

About Matt Allwright

Still waiting for him to send me his bio! But you know him from Watchdog and Rogue Traders! Author of Watchdog: The Consumer Survival Guide*

I met him discussing wedding cancellations for Watchdog on The One Show:

Wedding venues and insurance getting refunds

See more people in the public eye/consumer world talking about their complaint habits in the interview series

Help with your complaints

book Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!


And if you need help with complaining effectively and making sure you are never fobbed off. GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!



101 Habits of an Effective complainer book cover with logo


101 Habits of an Effective Complainer see Matt Allwright’s review




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Helen Dewdney & Rob Rinder – exclusive interview Part 1

Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow talks to Rob Rinder

I had the great pleasure of chatting with Rob Rinder in a series of exclusive interviews. He is extremely knowledgeable, very warm and open. And he can talk big time! Rob spoke about life as a barrister, in the media and his own personal complaining habits.

Rob Rinder – From Barrister to TV Judge

Today we start with talking about his life before the media.

Robert Rinder and Helen Dewdney on Zoom

How did you become a barrister?

Watch the interview to see how Rob started on the path to become a barrister. He also talks about why his mentees could not do it that way now.

Rob Rinder talks to Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow about how he became a barrister

What are your thoughts on the barriers on diversity in law and what needs to be done?

Rob touched on this in the previous question and I was keen to explore his opinions of the issues more. He talked at length about how  some things are getting better and others worse.

He even reveals who he thinks and hopes will be the first female Lord Chief Justice!

Rob Rinder talks to Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow about diversity in the legal profession

What was your most interesting case?

This was… really very interesting! Rob talked about a couple of his high profile historic cases. It was fascinating to hear Rob’s perceptions of people and processes involved. His cases included gang-related violence and unsupported young soldiers in Iraq.

What's the most interesting case Rob Rinder has been involved in?

Did you say “lips moving still talking” or “you Moron” in court?

“You moron” was often used by Rob on the programme Judge Rinder and always raised a laugh both in the mock courtroom and for viewers at home. However, it is important to state, in case you don’t watch the video, that neither Rob nor I use the word “moron” any more. The reason for this is provided here.

Rob Rinder talks to Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow about how he spoke to clients and staff

Did you ever have a time when you felt  or knew your clients weren’t telling you 100% of the truth and you had difficulty defending them?

This is a question that people often want to ask lawyers and barristers! Rob makes some clear differentiations and provides some intriguing perspectives.

Rob Rinder talks to Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow about perspectives of clients truth

Will you ever return to being a barrister?

Rob spoke briefly (strange but true!) about this and touched upon his charity work. He actually does a great deal and it is important to him.

Rob Rinder talks to Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow about returning to being a barrister

Rob Rinder talks to Helen Dewdney about empowering people

Rob Rinder talks to Helen Dewdney about empowering people

Part 2 Rob talks about his media career, the highlights and what’s next

Rob talks about his complaining habits

Be empowered to assert your consumer rights!

Complaining Cow BooksFor more help, advice, tips, information and templates buy  How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

and 101 Habits of an Effective Complainer! (and see Rob Rinder’s review!)

Rob Rinder talks to Helen Dewdney about empowering people